3AM Eternal: Washington Phillips “I Was Born To Preach The Gospel” (1927)

Washington Phillips is a man of some mystery; a gospel singer, he recorded a handful of songs between 1927 and 1929, only to slip into obscurity. Those songs, however, live on; “What Are They Doing In Heaven Today” is considered a gospel classic, as is “Take Your Burdens To The Lord” and “Lift Him Up.” Making his music even more moving is the combination of deeply spiritual lyrics and a mysterious instrument that he invented that sounds positively Heavenly. Not quite a harp, not quite a dulcimer, it is uniquely his. An obscurity among obscurities, but one that is worth hearing.

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